The Journey Begins in Bethlehem
Thursday, December 08, 2016
Have you seen the billboard?
The Christmas season is upon us and seems to get upon us earlier every year. Soon the decorations will stay up, and there will be Christmas in July celebrations. Whatever is good for biz. Not sure this is what God had in mind, the way we celebrate the birth of His Son, the Messiah and the traditions we keep… and don’t keep.
Already I see and hear good wishes from those who believe that Jesus is mythology. Obviously it is not Merry Christmas greetings but more Happy Holidays, the one-size-fits-all greeting so no one is offended, other than Christians who are the ones celebrating the season because of the reason. Makes no sense.
Atheists are not all rabid like those who put up big red billboards on busy thruways during Christmas and Easter to remind 80% of Americans, who they deem to be stupid, that in their limited imagination the God of Abraham is also myth, as well as the designated lineage of the Jewish people and the birth of a Savior who was predicted to come by several prophets.
And wait! That’s not all.
The rabid non-theists are eager to let us know (as though we did not) how paganism has been incorporated into the Christmas and Easter celebrations; but I have some news for them: Paganism has been incorporated into everyday life in general, always has been, including the days of the week, the months of the year and the planets.
The birth of a savior, a messiah, was foretold from the beginning of mankind, according to the Bible; and the reason a savior would be necessary is vividly explained in the same book. A messiah would eventually appear and save mankind from mankind. We have a tendency not to pay attention to history and seem programmed genetically to fail. It is far too easy to fall short in the eyes of God. That is why he promised a savior to save us from ourselves, and this savior was predicted to come in the first book of the Bible.
Moses is speaking to the Israelites about 3,500 years ago:
The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him. Genesis 18:15 NIV
I do not suppose that Moses knew the messiah would be killed by the very people he came to save. Moses did not know his name would be Jesus (Yeshu’a), that he would heal the blind and the deaf and the lame or raise the dead to life. The prophets who made those predictions had not yet been born.
As far as Moses was concerned, God was going to raise another prophet like himself from among the Israelite brethren, a prophet who had their interests at heart, like Moses did. A prophet who would lead them to the truth if they would only listen. That seems simple enough.
“You must listen to him.”
There were many Jews who did listen to Jesus when he walked this earth. They followed him from place-to-place, they saw his supernatural, unexplainable miracles; and they knew of the predictions of the prophets born after Moses:
In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. Isaiah 29:18 NIV
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Isaiah 35:5-6 NIV
The prophecies of Isaiah to the Jewish people about 7 centuries before Christ described the same prophet who Moses described, and most today know him as Jesus.
Jesus’ healing of the blind man would be the first time in recorded history that a person born blind was healed, yet Isaiah said it would happen. According to that story, Jesus did not give the man an eye exam and fit him for glasses or contacts. He simply made him see, for the first time in his life, with only a word. There were many Jews that saw this and were amazed. There were many Roman guards who saw this, and they were amazed.
How happy do you think that man was? Had never seen the light of day, only darkness; then all of a sudden, High Definition! How awesome that was for that man; and it is doubtful that he could have kept it a secret. How awesome it was for the crowd who saw it happen, because they became the first Messianic Jews.
When Isaiah predicted 700 years before the birth of the Messiah that Jesus would heal the lame, that too had not been done. Jesus didn’t walk up and give the lame a wheelchair or a pair of crutches to make things a little better. He told him to get up. After years of being an invalid we know his muscles were no more. Yet he stood and walked away, without falling down.
When Isaiah said a prophet would one day appear to save the Jews from their actions, he predicted that Jesus would heal the deaf. Jesus did not give the deaf hearing aids in order to help a little; he made them like new. Jesus did not slap anyone on the head or let out a shout to make this happen. He simply spoke. There was no flamboyance, no white 3-piece suit and no exotic, luxury buses and bands. Just Jesus and a spoken word.
I have very good friends who are not believers and are very generous and nice. They just do not believe the story. They do not and would not buy a billboard at Christmas to stick our faces in. They do believe the Golden Rule. Rabid atheists think the Golden Rule is also a myth. So my comments are directed at them:
Get a life. Is there nothing better to do than insult 80% of the population? During the most sacred times of the year for Christianity, how much joy could you possibly realize by belittling God? A lot, is my guess. Evil people have always gotten joy from being evil. It is in the heart.
Your billboard that says Make Christmas Great Again- Skip Church is ludicrous but a good theft of the President Elect’s motto. I guess if you don’t believe in God, it is okay to steal. The message is ludicrous because you are admitting that at least Christmas was once great. A little bit of news for you: Christmas and the Church have always been Christmas. That is why churches have candle-light services and sing hymns to Jesus; because we know it is you who are wrong, and Jesus is a reality that we pray you might one day realize.
You could take that billboard money and feed the poor or help the sick. There are many depressed this time of year, so thanks for trying to destroy their hope. How many veterans could you help with your billboard budget?
Christmas without the Church is like a boat without a rudder. Jesus is our rudder and is no myth.
I don’t like your stinkin’ billboard, but Merry Christmas.
About J.L. Robb
Last week: John, the Son of Thunder
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